Integration, resource mobilization, and utilization key to achieve holistic development

The Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) and Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission (EKHCDC), joint Boards, and top leaders jointly conducted an integration and resource mobilization workshop on the 9th of October 2023 at Kuriftu. The participant leaders were from the entire country who represented the down structures of the church at zonal levels. The Integration and Resource Mobilization Training mainly aimed to integrate and exhaustively utilize the human capital and other untapped resources at hand and beyond for the holistic development of the church and the communities in the target.

In the opening remark, Dr. Simeon Mulatu EKHC Secretary General shared the word of God from the book 1Thessalonians chapter 1 and encouraged the attendees to strive and work to have exemplary and influential life that shows and glorifies Jesus Christ. Like the Thessalonian believers who influenced the lives of the people in their neighboring provinces and regions, we are called here today to be responsible to bring holistic influences into the lives of the people in Ethiopia and beyond, Dr. Simeon added.      

Dr. Simon Heliso, the Deputy President of EKHC and the Board Chairperson of EKHCDC also emphasized in his welcoming speech that the development commission of the church is doing and implementing giant projects which exceeded over half a billion birr in 2022 and it is expected to be more in the year 2023. The volume and number of the project have been in their increasing order over periods. Hence, organizing and implementing systematic strategies of fundraising and resource mobilizations are essential to maximize the contributions of the church to the holistic development of entire communities of the country. He motivated the participants to come together, join hands, work smart, influence and change the environment, and bring significant impacts to the country. This is the life that the born-again Christians and Christian organizations are existing about. In relation to EKHCDC, the move is inclusively progressing but it still needs to work more and more with an integration approach to optimize our efforts.

Dr. Tefera Talore, EKHCDC Commissioner also addressed the participants that the commission had been implementing various projects successfully for over 50 years with external donor support and internal resources on major thematic areas like water, health and sanitation, education, livelihood and disaster response, and rehabilitation, preventing harmful traditional practice, food security and livelihood development etc… across the country. Currently, EKHCDC has planned to strengthen and widen its financial and funding sources nationally and internationally to reach more people who need support to improve their lives. Accordingly, the organization has been undertaking many activities to create an enabling environment for raising funds and mobilizing resources. This workshop emphasizes on it and it is an eye-opening platform for integration and resource mobilization, said Commissioner Dr. Tefera Talore.

Mr. Abraham Alembo, the head of the Humanitarian Aid and Peace Building Unit at EKHCDC presented to the participants the historical journey of EKHC in terms of integration and the holistic ministry since its establishment. He also clearly explained the concepts of integration (integration of stakeholders, potential resources, and organizational systems) to be internalized by all stakeholders in the holistic service delivery systems. He pictured that the internalized goals have to be characterized and carried out by active targeting to shoot, meet, and achieve the goals with commitments and required sacrifices. Hence, commitment, consistency, accountability, unity, integrity, and other vital values for integrational/joint work are essential for maximizing organizational efforts to mobilize untapped resources to reach more people and enhance performance of the church.

Abraham further explained that donor-based funding is very much limited and unable to reach the emerging needs of the people. Moreover, they are call-oriented with strong competition and detailed preconditions. Therefore, formulating an integration model to mobilize untapped internal resources to fill the gaps is mandatory to keep on working on development interventions to help needy communities. As EKHC/EKHCDC is rich in natural and human resources, integration is key to utilizing the untapped human capital and natural resources to attain human and environmental development, he added.

Tarekegn Yonas, EKHCDC’s education and Child Development Coordinator also lectured a presentation on resource mobilization topic. He accompanied his presentation with the world economic research reports to link it with the capacity of EKHC to mobilize its resources. He mentioned that the recent survey of EKHC indicated that the church has over 12 million members in 11 thousand local churches which is equivalent to the total population of many individual countries in the world. Therefore, EKHC can play a role equivalent to a country. He added that according to the researchers, the best resource is human resources because human resources can utilize other resources in a meaningful way. Hence the EKHC/EKHCDC should integrate, mobilize, and utilize its untapped resources found across the country to the benefits of the people and glory of God.

Geleta Yohanes, EKHCDC IT officer introduced the electronical fundraising techniques using telebirr super app to donate the programs EKHCDC. Tamiru Zeleke the head of EKHCDC HR and Operations department briefly explained that using telebirr app is one of many other fundraising and resource mobilization mechanisms.

At the end of the series of presentations, a session was opened for the participants to raise questions and forward their feedback. Dr. Woyita Woza the Head of Education and Training department led the discussion. Commissioner Dr. Tefera responded to the points raised and said that this is the brief beginning and it is a long journey. It is impossible now to respond to all the points raised but some and through the processes all the points will be addressed.   

Finally, Dr Simon Heliso the deputy president of the church and the chairperson of EKHCDC closed up the workshop with concluding remarks. He appreciated the leaders for their commitment to attend the meeting and active participation. Dr. Ermias Mamo, the Deputy General Secretary of the church closed the workshop with blessing words of prayers.

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